Code 991 is a one shot story in a series of short stories published by Bilateral Comics. Each issue deals with a different concept. This issue deals with an extra-terrestrial that seems to be terrorising locals. After what seems to be a hostage situation, one man is sent to negotiate with a monster.
Detective Millet is the man for the job, a police veteran that has been hardened by street level crime; he believes that empathy might be the key to success. That if they can understand each other nobody will have to get hurt. With an alien able to disintegrate organic material upon contact, Millet takes the risk, making contact with the Third Kind.
Millet is an interesting character, his methods of distracting this liquid alien is very “Spider-man” like. In fact this alien requires a host much like the Symbiote from the Spider-man franchise. Millet seems to be a cynic. He has been desensitised, thanks to the crimes he has witnessed. In the opening of the issue seems as though he has lost faith in humanity. So when an alien encounter occurs it is quite something to see a man such as Millet empathising with an alien, using the faults of man to convince an alien that he is making the same mistakes as humanity.
The art is great and really lends to the tone of the story. Using a vast majority of dark colours, the gritty story is displayed well. The line work has some great detail in making for great images and expressions. I only wish the alien looked different, something that looks more original and more threatening would have been excellent. Readers might not feel as threatened as the characters do, simply because a giant blob is not all that scary.
Bilateral Comics gives us a great story, independent works like these show that talented individuals do exist and they do not have to work for the two major franchises of the industry. This Noir feeling Science Fiction is a sure hit and a great read!